The last warm days of autumn can be a really great time to look for Swamp Monsters. Most of the plant life in the water bodies has died back and the beasts tend to be rather active, trying to get in a last few meals before the chill of winter sends them into hibernation.
Coyote Peterson and Mud Man Mark Vins set off on two final expeditions to shoot some photography of these elusive creatures in hopes of ending the summer on a high point of 40 turtles captured, documented, photographed and released.
The expeditions were set for Blacklick Woods Metro Park...a true gem location of this summers research and a location that has yielded some monster specimens.
Our first stop was Ashton Pond where we just happened to be in the right place at the right time, stumbling upon turtle number 39.
Like the previous turtles captured in this water source, his size and prehistoric beauty were unmatched.
Weighing in at a respectable 33 lbs with a carapace length of 15.5 inches, 16 inches across and 46 inch circumference...this was one reptile to respect.
The most incredible characteristics of this turtle were his incredibly long, 17 inch tail...
and a set of razor sharp claws that made him look like a relationship between Freddy Kruger and a Velociraptor on steroids gone seriously wrong!...or right depending on how you look at it.
The second location of interest was the visitor center pond. The water was low and the lily pads had pretty much died out.
Walking the muddy shore line we headed back to the far corner, a good swampy spot with deep mud and lots of logs. There hunkered down in the mud was our milestone...number 40!
Given the shallow water and deep mud he was a rather simple catch as compared to some Snapping Turtles we have faced, however, that didn't make him any less dangerous.
This reptile weighed in at a comfortable 30 lbs. His carapace about 15 inches long, 16 in. wide and 43 in. circumference. A much shorter tail then the previous turtle and well worn claws.
He was rather sluggish when brought up on land but that made for some pretty easy photography and his chilled out nature allowed us to get incredibly close.
The last two expeditions of the year could not have ended any better.
To reach the milestone of capturing 40 Common Snapping Turtles, with No Nets and No Traps, was really special for our team.
It was a great summer and the winter months can't come and go fast enough.
A World Record Size thank you to The Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks for all their help and support with these last two expeditions...we look forward to catching and photographing more of your amazing Snapping Turtles next year!
Big Thanks to Mud Man Mark Vins and The PhotoDawg for their help on the last two adventures!
I'm Coyote Peterson and this...is The REPTILE SHOW!